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Archive for the tag “Afghanistan”

The Graveyard Of Empires And Big Data

The only tiki bar in eastern Afghanistan had an unusual payment program. A sign inside read simply, “If you supply data, you will get beer.” The idea was that anyone — or any foreigner, because Afghans were not allowed — could upload data on a one-terabyte hard drive kept at the bar, located in the Taj Mahal Guest House in Jalalabad. In exchange, they would get free beer courtesy of the Synergy Strike Force, the informal name of the American civilians who ran the establishment.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

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Pakistan Is Literally Sitting On A (Nuclear) Powder Keg

One can’t rule out the possibility that escalating tensions with India over Kashmir (and they seem to be escalating by the day) and Pakistan-based terrorist attacks that are becoming increasingly frequent, especially against Indian military targets, can lead to a full-fledged shooting war across the LOC in Kashmir and the international border.

Read Here – The National Interest

Russia And Pakistan’s Reluctant Romance

Though relations between Russia and Pakistan remained turbulent over the years, they have been warming up over the last decade, with top political and diplomatic meetings. Moscow is reaffirming its role in its immediate domain and beyond, whereas Islamabad is seeking new avenues of opportunity, lessening its reliance on the United States in particular and the West in general.

Read Here – The Diplomat

The Gates Of Hell

But why has it happened? They’re bellowing at Afghanistan, screaming blame and abuse. But the louder they yell, the more insistent the question: how have they managed to get it so wrong? Let’s talk about the boys a bit.

Read Here – Dawn

Terrorists Don’t Have To Win – They Just Have To Survive

This past year brought no relief to those fighting the scourge of terrorism. Terrorists carried out horrific attacks around the globe, including at airports in Brussels and Istanbul, at crowded festivals in Berlin, Nice, and Baghdad, at restaurants in Bangladesh, and at various locations throughout Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

Read Here – The Cipher Brief

General Bajwa’s Battle

“Every Army chief has had his own legacy or way of doing things,” says Saad, who is a barrister in Islamabad, “our father believes in the supremacy of the Constitution. He always says he wants the Pakistan [that the] Quaid-e-Azam envisioned, a Pakistan where institutions are more important than individuals.”

Read Here – Newsweek

Is India Finally Getting Serious About Its Connect Central Asia Plans?

Although Central Asia holds many strategic advantages for India, not much has been done to take this forward. But recent developments in our neighbourhood could serve as the much-needed wake up call to New Delhi to pursue its regional policy plans.

Read Here – The Wire

Pakistan Gets A New Army Chief

After weeks of intense speculation and rumours, a career infantry officer belonging to the Baloch Regiment, Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has been appointed as the new Chief of Army Staff while Lt Gen Zubair Hayat has been appointed the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee.

Read Here – Dawn

Also read: Challenges for the new army chief

Is Terrorism On The Rise? Here’s What The Data Tells Us

Produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) analyses and studies the direct and indirect impact of terrorism on 163 countries. This year’s results present a juxtaposition of the dynamics of terrorism in modern society. On one hand, they show a 10% fall (since last year) in the number of deaths attributed to terrorist incidents – the first decline since 2010. On the other hand, the overall score on this year’s index has deteriorated by 6%, due to many countries experiencing record levels of terrorism.

Read Here – World Economic Forum

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Pakistan And The Hidden Costs Of The CPEC

Nobody doubts that CPEC carries tremendous promise for Pakistan. And nobody doubts that our security forces have made major sacrifices in the war on terror, as well as facing the looming threat from a belligerent India these days. But greater transparency is needed in the financing of CPEC projects. Otherwise, hidden costs of all sorts will start getting bundled into whatever recovery machinery there is, whether power tariffs of gas surcharges or whatever else.

Read Here – Dawn

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